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Panel Discussion:

Theatre in Translation

Bridging the Cultural Gaps 


A discussion with translators and playwrights from the New Nordic Voices programme.

In this discussion we explored the collaborative relationship between translator and playwright, and the translator's role in bridging cultural gaps.




Translator Brian FitzGibbon, Iceland.

Translator Charlotte Barslund, UK.

Playwright Daria Glenter, Norway.

Playwright Gígja Sara Björnsson, Iceland.

Chaired by Cut the Cord's director & producer Camilla Gürtler.


Brian FitzGibbon – Translator


Dublin-born Brian FitzGibbon graduated in Drama at UKC in 1985. He has translated a vast array of film scripts, stage plays and novels from Italian, French and Icelandic. His translation of “Butterflies in November” by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir was listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014 and his translation of the Icelandic cult novel "101 Reykjavik" by Hallgrimur Helgason (Faber & Faber) was hailed by the Guardian as "dazzling". 

Brian’s own play, "The Papar", was staged by the Abbey Theatrein Dublin in 1997, and his play, "Another Man", was a finalist at the Playwrights Slam at the 2005 Chichester Theatre Festival in the UK.


“Emerging voices need to be heard across cultural boundaries now more than ever and, as a translator, it’s a privilege to be able to provide that bridge.”


Charlotte Barslund – Translator


Charlotte Barslund translates Scandinavian novels and plays. 

Recent plays translated include WE GNAW THE KNUCKLES OF TIME by Jonas Corell Petersen, RECONSTRUCTIONS by Malmfrid Hovsveen Hallum and TO VALHALLA by Kristian Lykkeslet Strømskag. She has translated several novels by Vigdis Hjorth including LONG LIVE THE POSTH HORN!, WILL AND TESTAMENT and A HOUSE IN NORWAY (longlisted for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award). 

Her translation of the children’s book WILDWITCH by Lene Kaaberbøl won the IBBY UK 2018 Honour Book for Translation. She has worked with writers such as: Samuel Bjork, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum, Mads Peder Nordbo, Ane Riel, Jesper Stein, Thomas Enger, Jonas T. Bengtsson, Carsten Jensen, Lone Theils, Steffen Jacobsen and Sissel-Jo Gazan.


“Translating emerging voices helps open our ears, minds and hearts to the thoughts, feelings and passions of young writers from the Nordic countries.”


Gígja Sara Björnsson – Playwright


Gígja is a French-Icelandic playwright who has lived and breathed the fresh Icelandic air and all of its quirks, for a decade. She trained as a Theatre and Performance maker from the Academy of the Arts in Iceland, which ultimately sparked her interest in playwriting.

Her play, "Stuffed" will be her first produced and translated play. Gígja's writing is characterised by a fondness for the social fabric of Icelandic culture and the absurdity in the mundane.

”Being translated into English means the world to me, just the feeling of somehow, if even just a little bit, taking part in the extraordinary English speaking playwriting world! This also means that my ideas and thoughts will be accessible to a far more diverse and larger audience which not only feels humbling but also absolutely thrilling.” 


Daria Glenter – Playwright


Daria Glenter is a Norwegian-Russian playwright, currently employed as a playwright-in-residence at Teater Innlandet, Norway, through a national talent programme. She has studied comparative literature and theatre studies at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, as well as creative writing at Biskops Arnö Författaskola in Sweden. Glenter was the Norwegian representative at Interplay Europe 2016. RING RING RING is her first full-length play, debuting at the Norwegian Playwrighting Festival (Norsk Dramatikkfestival) in 2019, to great reviews; Norsk Shakspearetidsskrift called the play “the best text of the festival”. The fields that inspire Glenter are philosophy, religion, psychology and nature.


”Forming new connections with playwrights from other Nordic countries and English theatre professionals is precious. It is great validation; a glimmer of light and hope in these lockdown times. To feel that your words and story are interesting enough to be translated into another language … What a gift.”

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